POST COVID-19 WORLD LIKELY TO WITNESS A RISE IN FLYING PRIVATE
SP’s Aviation|May - June 2020
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POST COVID-19 WORLD LIKELY TO WITNESS A RISE IN FLYING PRIVATE
There are as many as 700 touchpoints exposing passengers to the risk of contagion on a single commercial flight, compared to just 20 such in business aviation
AYUSHEE CHAUDHARY

The global pandemic of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) changed the way the world functions and almost got the world to halt. Amid such extraordinary times, governments were forced to take unprecedented measures. Travel being the major and one of the most initial restriction, the virus gave a hard hit to the aviation industry, especially the commercial aviation industry. However, the private aviation market did not see a downfall as severe when the virus began to spread. It rather witnessed a surge in demand of the business jets.

With the wealthy community of the HNI’s, NRI’s and corporate biggies, favouring to fly private, the demand for private jets did flourish in a time when the overall industry has been engulfed by the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Asia, where the outbreak originated, charter companies witnessed a sustained increase in new customers as people who fled the virus in January returned in March from places.

Many well-off travelers who hoped to minimise their public exposure and find alternatives to suspended flights, opted to fly privately at least before complete lockdowns. Also with those essentially travelling to or from areas of travel restrictions and flight suspensions, private jets were the way out. This led to the spike in urgent demands pouring in with the private jet operators. A lot of companies that were looking to pull their employees out of the infected regions also shifted to flying private.

Swiss private jet broker LunaJets, highlighted “impressive increase” in bookings and enquiries from passengers, correlating with heightened concerns surrounding COVID-19. In February, about 15 per cent of overall requests were related to coronavirus, and this doubled to 30 per cent in mid-March for LunaJets.

“Over the past month we have flown many clients between a variety of global destinations. Most have been requests to fly as soon as possible (within 1-5 days) and the majority are people flying home to their families, or looking to repatriate the loved ones,” PrivateFly, a global private jet charter broker company, highlighted on its website.

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May - June 2020